‘I saw Francis all week you IDIOTS, I shook his hand’: Dana White hits back after claims he snubbed Ngannou with post-fight no-show amid contract dispute and insists ‘there was stuff going on I was dealing with’
- Dana White did not strap the UFC heavyweight belt around Francis Ngannou
- UFC president was also a no show for the post-fight press conference
- It appeared as though White had snubbed the champion amid contract dispute
- But he has now explained that: ‘There was stuff going on that I was dealing with’
Dana White has insisted he did not snub Francis Ngannou and there was no personal agenda at UFC 270.
The UFC president was mysteriously absent when the time came to wrap the belt around the champion’s waist after he beat Ciryl Gane and was also a no-show for the post-fight press conference.
Ngannou feels disrespected by the UFC and the very public contract row was a central narrative for Saturday’s fight.
Dana White was not on hand to strap the UFC belt around Francis Ngannou’s waist
His deal has automatically extended to the end of 2022 due to the fact that he won the fight but he may not compete until 2023 anyway after choosing to undergo surgery on a torn MCL in his knee.
White has stayed quiet over the post-fight no-show in Anaheim until now, when he addressed the issue in a Q&A, saying: ‘I actually walked out of the arena right after the co-main event because there was stuff going on that I was dealing with.
‘For anybody to think I was showing any type of disrespect toward Francis, I saw Francis all week, you idiots. I shook his hand. I said hi to him. I was out there for the staredowns, the whole thing.
‘So for anybody to think that there was some type of disrespect toward Francis, I wasn’t out there for Michael Bisping vs. (Luke) Rockhold’s fight, either, because I was dealing with some stuff.
The UFC president insists it was not a snub and said he was cordial with Ngannou all week
Ngannou won the belt despite his knee injury and the distraction of UFC contract talks
‘I sprinted from the back. I didn’t even have my jacket on. I only had my shirt on to go and put the belt on Bisping, but I couldn’t make it out there to put the belt on Francis.’
Not having White in the octagon to present the belt is a rare occurrence and he said there was only one time he refused to do it out of spite, citing Anderson Silva’s disappointing clash with Demian Maia at UFC 112.
‘There’s only been one time that I’ve walked out on a fight and made it very clear, showed up to the press conference and said this is exactly why I left’, he said.
The months ahead will dictate whether Ngannou and the UFC can agree on terms of a new deal, with the champion still interested in being able to fight Tyson Fury in a lucrative boxing match.
The organisation have always held firm in the face of demands from top stars but their resolve will be tested and it will be a terrible look if Ngannou is allowed to finish his contract and compete for more money elsewhere.
It remains to be seen whether Ngannou and the UFC can come to an agreement
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